PRODUCT ALLERGENS AND PRODUCT DECLARATIONS
Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU FIC)
Thomas Ridley Foodservice is committed to supporting our customers in implementing and complying with the new food information for consumer’s regulations.
• Product allergens are not new.
• In certain individuals, Allergens stimulate a hypersensitivity reaction.
• The number of allergens identified has increased to 14.
• Everyone in the food supply chain has a responsibility to communicate allergens to their customers.
• Since 2011 Thomas Ridley Foodservice has made Allergen Information available to our customers.
• Since 2012 Thomas Ridley Foodservice has made Product Specifications available to our customers.
• “Allergen Check” has been available to all Thomas Ridley customers from September 2014.
• We now offer further allergen, nutritional and ingredient information across our range on all website product pages.
“Allergen Check” enables our customers to see at a glance a list of the products purchased from us and the allergens they contain; we have done the hard work for you. Our Product allergen information is collected from our suppliers all whom have accreditations to comply with the current food legislation including their declarations on allergens. Our team have gone to great lengths to ensure that our suppliers’ information is readily available for you to easily access. We require as a routine that our suppliers inform us of any change in the process of a product; as such changes would render the product to be a New Product. Each New Product must have a unique supplier barcode and supplier product code to confirm a completely new identity together with its allergen declarations.
As a condition of supplying Thomas Ridley Foodservice; suppliers must undertake to provide a New Product specification for each and every change, we update and store these electronically, and they are available on request. If you find that we have issued a New Product code on an existing product; this product with its new code will appear on a different line on your “Allergen Check”, and may have a different allergy declaration. However, there may be other reasons for issuing a New Product code e.g. a change in packaging, a different supplier, and a change in weight or pack configuration. Although it is not a current law to provide a new product specification for an existing product; realistically it is extremely unlikely suppliers will elect to add new allergen content to products as this will require them to provide a new product specification stating the addition of new allergen content.
Suppliers will be aware this could damage their commercial reputation, their brands and limit future product sales. To use a simple analogy; a supplier would not amend a vegetarian product overnight, to make it not suitable for vegetarians. Why not make some spot checks of your own; simply check and compare your product information against the label of the actual product, on new labelling the allergens will be listed in bold.
“Allergen Check” is a complimentary tool developed to assist our customers, and whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the information secured from suppliers is correct, we cannot give any warranty to this. We hope that the information we are providing aids clarification of the legislation, please familiarise yourself with the full details of the requirements to ensure you are complying with the law and fully prepared to service and inform your customers.